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This Is What You Need To Know About Sclerotherapy

This Is What You Need To Know About Sclerotherapy

What is Sclerotherapy?

Sclerotherapy is a popular medical procedure that uses an injection of a solution to eliminate spider veins, reticular, and small varicose veins. It’s a proven varicose veins treatment and spider vein treatment that has been in use since the 1930s. The procedure is performed in-office, and the solution is either a foam or liquid that is injected via a small gauge needle. Once the solution has been injected, it causes the vein to swell and stick together, or scar. Blood is then forced to reroute through healthier veins, while the scarred vein is reabsorbed into local tissue, eventually fading.

Sclerotherapy Candidates

For those who are troubled by their varicose veins, a dermatologist or vascular medicine specialist will decide whether or not the procedure would be suitable. If you are pregnant, the procedure will not be done; however, if you take birth control pills, you are eligible have the varicose veins treatment. Those patients who have had a blood clot in the past have their eligibility for the procedure determined on a case-by-case basis. Eligibility depends on the overall health of the area to be worked on, and the reason for the blood clot is also considered, according to WebMd.

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Effectiveness of Varicose and Spider Vein Treatment with Sclerotherapy

Research shows that up to 80% of injected veins can be treated and eliminated with each treatment session, and 90% of people who undergo sclerotherapy do respond to the injections. For the most part, small spider veins can be seen fading in three to six weeks, while larger veins may take three to four months to fade. When veins respond to the treatment, they do not ever reappear, although new veins may become visible.

Possible Side Effects

Most side effects of sclerotherapy are mild and do not persist for very long. Itching is possible and can last for one or two days, and there may be raised and/or red areas at injection sites for a couple of days. Bruising can also occur, and can last several days or a few weeks, depending on the patient. Although larger veins that have been treated can become hard and lumpy, they will normally dissolve and fade within a few months. Brown lines or spots can also appear, but in most cases they disappear within six months. More serious side effects, which are rare, might include allergic reactions to the solution, inflammation within five inches of the groin, a sudden onset of a swollen leg, and small ulcers that form at the injection site. Should any of these side effects occur, your doctor should be contacted right away.

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The Cost of Sclerotherapy

How much you will pay for this vein treatment procedure will depend on several factors. You should know that unless the varicose veins are causing medical issues, such as pain or chronic swelling, insurance probably will not cover the procedure. Be sure to check with your insurance company ahead of time and ensure that you fully understand the costs you will be responsible for. The cost of the procedure will also vary from provider to provider, and will depend on how many veins are treated, how large the veins are, and so on. If your insurance will cover the cost, the company will require a letter from your doctor discussing the nature of the treatment and the necessity of it.

Before and After Sclerotherapy Treatment for Veins

Prior to your procedure, your doctor will evaluate the veins involved and will want to know about any recent illnesses or medical conditions, allergies, and medications or supplements you take. You’ll be instructed to stop taking any aspirin, NSAIDs, and blood thinners at a certain point before the procedure to minimize bleeding. Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding shaving and applying lotion to the legs for 24 hours before your treatment and wearing loose, comfy clothes to the appointment.

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Medical experts recommend that anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin be avoided for 48 hours after your treatment. You should also avoid hot baths, saunas, whirlpools, and exposure to direct sunlight. Showers are fine, but be sure that the water is not hot. You may wash injection sites with mild soap and water. Walking is encouraged, and you can resume your regular daily activities, with the exception of strenuous aerobic exercise; you’ll also be told to wear compression stockings for a bit afterwards. Should you have any concerns about anything regarding your sclerotherapy treatment, be sure to consult your medical professional.

Featured photo credit: stylecraze.com via stylecraze.com

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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